Each year, over 2400 children are injured or die from drivers who didn’t see a child when backing up in a driveway. The “backover accident” statistics are sobering:
- 72% of the backover accidents involve a driver who is a parent, sibling or close relative
- 81% of the victims are toddlers (12 to 23 months)
- 60% of the vehicles involved are ‘high profile’ SUVs, trucks, and vans
It’s always a good reminder for drivers to increase their awareness of little children before putting their vehicle into motion. Toddlers and small children are harder to see, are unpredictable and impulsive, and are usually incapable of understanding dangerous situations.
Backover accidents happen primarily because of a vehicle’s blind zone, which is the area in front or behind a car that cannot be seen by the driver. Remember: the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind zone.
To avoid a tragic backover accident, here are some important tips that every driver and parent should remember:
- Teach your children about the dangers of playing around parked vehicles.
- Always be aware and supervise the activities of your children, especially when others may be parked at your house.
- Always walk around your vehicle to check for children prior to moving it.
- If children are in the vicinity, as a driver you should visually account for each one before moving the car. If an adult is nearby, ask him or her to keep the children away from the vehicle as it leaves.
- Keep toys, bikes, other sports equipment or other temptations out of the driveway
- Do not plant bushes or plants near the driveway, which may block your view.
- Next time you purchase a new car, choose a model with a backup camera or audible collision detector.
- If your vehicle is parked on a driveway with a steep incline, realize that your blind spot is much larger than normal.
- Warn your children that a warm driveway is never a good place to dry off after a water activity.
One of the greatest tragedies in life is a backover accident. Please do all you can to keep our little ones safe around all vehicles.